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1. God wants to bless you. However He wants to prepare you and form your character to receive His blessings. This is necessary as God’s blessings are so powerful and pouring them on a unprepared person can lead to disaster.
2. One method that God use to prepare us is putting our faith into test.
3. In today’s sermon I am going to draw 3 principals from Abraham’s experience, that would enable us to pass God’s test of faith.
4. Now remember God had promised to bless Abraham and bring forth a great nation out of his offspring.
5. These principals prepared Abraham and formed his character to receive God’s blessing. And they will prepare you too.
Text: Genesis 22:1-18
What to do when God tests your faith?
1. First things first. Give first place to God? (Genesis 22:1-4)
A. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. He and his wife was childless for many years.
B. God told Abraham, that He will use Isaac to bring forth the great nation that was promised.
C. Abraham had to make a choice. Obeying God will cost Abraham his son (and any hopes of God’s promise). Protecting his son will be disobedience to God. (What will he tell his wife Sara when she inquire about their son?)
D. But Abraham gave first place to God.
E. When your faith is tested give your first priority to God. Remember, it involves a cost.
2. Secondly obey the Lord, (Genesis 22:5-10)
A. Abraham was a human too – I am sure that God’s command took Abraham by surprise.
B. Isaac was Abraham’s only son. He couldn’t express his grief in words.
C. But Abraham obeyed God’s command unconditionally.
D. Abraham had to learn to obey unconditionally.
E. Do you obey the Lord when you are told to do the seemingly impossible? Or do you give excuses why you can’t obey the Lord’s command?
3. Use faith to face the test of faith
A. Notice how Abraham demonstrated faith throughout this situation. (Explain these verses in detail)
I. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father?” “What is it, my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied…. (Genesis 22:7-8, NET)
II. On the third day Abraham caught sight of the place in the distance. So he said to his servants, “You two stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go up there. We will worship and then return to you.” (Genesis 22:4-5, NET)
III. Right now you may have the faith in the size of a mustard seed. Use it! Your faith will be perfected once you are through with the test.
B. Abraham knew that God keeps His promises, (James 11:17-19)
I. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He had received the promises, yet he was ready to offer up his only son. God had told him, “Through Isaac descendants will carry on your name,” and he reasoned that God could even raise him from the dead, and in a sense he received him back from there. (Hebrews 11:17-19, NET)
II. In times of test remember the promises God gave in the past. A promise from God is like an anchor which helps us to stand firm in stormy times of life. Hold fast to God’s promise.
A. God will put our faith into test at each stage of our Christian life.
B. Our goal should be to pass every test of faith.
C. Testing of faith always precedes promotion.
D. Self blessings and human blessings can’t replace divine blessing.
E. Just as a product is never used until it’s tested – So it is with us.